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Russians fretting over referees
Russia are concerned that referees will rule in favour of host nation Portugal as well as Spain during Euro 2004. With their opening group game against the Spaniards just three days away, Russia skipper Alexei Smertin admits he is worried about the impartiality of the officials, especially during the Group A matches. Smertin said: "Officiating is on our minds. Being in the same group as Portugal and Spain, who are seen almost as co-hosts, the officiating has to worry you. "I hope it'll be fair to all teams and it won't affect the outcome of games." His sentiments are echoed by teammate Alexander Mostovoi, who added: "I have little doubt referees are more likely to help Portugal than Russia. "This is just a reality and I'm afraid there is nothing we can do about it. "I can recall the last World Cup, where Spain were simply dumped out in their quarter-final against South Korea by bad refereeing in the bluntest possible fashion. "They wanted to give medals to the host country at any cost and they achieved their goal."


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